Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Busy Busy Busy

When I started this business, I didn't realize just how busy I'd be with expos, and trade shows, and all kinds of baby events.  I just figured I'd get a great website going, and people would just flock to it.  How wrong I was.  But, I'm enjoying it.  I'm enjoying meeting new people and extolling the greatness of cloth diapering.  And I REALLY enjoy when I meet cloth diapering mommies who are excited to talk about their cloth diapering journey, or to see some product I have that they hadn't seen yet.  The more and more I'm doing this, the more I realize that this thing is like an underground movement... the cloth diapering movement.  And I'm glad to be a part of it, and to spread the word.

So, just what have I been up to? Well, my website launched on August 15, 2010.  Since then I  had a vendor's table in September at the Baby Bargains book signing at Great Beginnings in Gaithersburg, MD, which was great because I got to meet Alan Fields, the author of "Baby Bargains" - very cooool! Like meeting a celebrity. Thanks Rachel from DC Baby Planners!.  Then in October I did a consignment sale for the Northern Virginia Parents of Multiples (NVPOM).  Man, that was an early morning... but worth it because I met some folks who were cloth diapering mommies, who had seen my website and came out to the sale just because of it. So how cool was that?!

Then, I went to the largest industry trade show in Las Vegas.  And boy, was that HUGE.  I still haven't gotten a chance to let you all in on the cool new stuff I'm adding to the store here in the next couple of weeks.  VERY exciting stuff.  You already know about Rockin' Green detergent, the Apple Park Pals, and the natural sunscreen from Episencials, but, there are soooo many more cool things coming down the pipeline.

I haven't had the chance to fill you in because I've been sooooo busy with the biggest event I've done - Green Festivals DC 2010. Talk about intimidating.  A small, new business like myself in the big leagues... and it was GREAT!  I met sooooo many cool people, who loved the gorgeous organic toys from Dandelion and Apple Park, and so open-minded about the cloth diapers and excited to learn more.  I really had a great time, and appreciated the positive response we received while there.  Special thanks to my old college classmate, Patrick A. who told me about the festival and to my friends Tiffany M. and Malika S. who volunteered their time on Saturday and Sunday to help me out at the booth.  I definitely couldn't have done it without them.  And to my wonderful husband who helped me load up everything, bring it to the Convention Center, unload eveyrthing, and do it all in reverse on Sunday night.  He is THE MAN :)

So the question is, where do we go from here? Well, I have some workshops coming up in November, and December, so if you're interested register soon as space is limited. I will be at the Fairfax County Moms of Multiples event next Thursday night.  Thanks again to Rachel!  I'll be at the Holy Cross Baby Fair on Nov 7 and the La Leche League Expo on Nov 13.  Whew.  I'm tired just reading this :)

To keep up with me, follow me on facebook or twitter, or join my mailing list for monthly updates.  And I look forward to meeting some of you guys on my journey :)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Product Spotlight – Baby Kicks Fitted

Baby Kicks is based in Salisbury, MD, so they’re local to me.  I had the pleasure of meeting the Owner about 2 weeks ago and he is awesome.  I like his philosophy about the world of cloth diapers and I think his approach to this business is awesome – he’s all about having fun with it.
So let’s get down to the diapers.  Last week I shone the spotlight on an AIO.  This week we’re doing a one-size fitted diaper.  Some folks, when they first get into cloth diapers are like, “If there are these great AIOs out there, why even bother with anything else?”  Well for everything there is a reason, and let me tell you, if there’s one fitted diaper you should have in your stash this is IT!  So what do I love about these Baby Kicks organic fitteds? Well, first of all, they are a cotton/hemp blend diaper.  I LOVE HEMP!  And that’s not just because I’m JamaicanJ.  Hemp is a super soaking power house of a fabric, it dries quickly, though it has been said it absorbs more slowly that cotton.  From an environmental standpoint it requires less water to grow than cotton does.  And, it has anti-microbial properties.  So really, what’s there not to love.
Besides the hemp factor, they are VERY well made.  The stretch leg portion fits snuggly around any baby’s frame.  The snap feature is awesome! The snaps are colored, so the diaper is cute.  There are two rows of snaps at the waist and a row down the front which makes it easily adjustable to fit any size.  The way it is designed, it tucks into itself to fit smaller babies without looking all weird and bulky like some other one-size fits do (click here for demonstration).  And each diaper comes with a Joey Bunz hemp doubler.
So what about the cover?? Any cover will do, so just choose one you like and roll with it.
Personal testament to this diaper – I use this as my night-time diaper for my baby girl.  I double stuff it with hemp inserts and put a layer of microfleece (from Happy Heinys) on top to wick the moisture away from my baby’s butt.  That girl sleeps the whole night through – 10 straight hours easily.  And to top it off, when she gets up in the morning, the diaper doesn’t have that soaked feeling that a cotton prefold usually has… it’s as if it started drying out during the night.  How great is that!  I LOVE these diapers!
Try out the Baby Kicks Organic One-Sized diaper out with your favorite cover. You will be amazed! 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Can a working mom really cloth diaper her kids?

In my cloth diapering journey, and specifically this new business journey, I have noticed that a lot of moms who cloth diaper their children are stay-at-home moms.  And a lot of moms say they're just too busy to cloth diaper... which begs the question, "can a working mom really cloth diaper her kids?".

Well, it all comes down to the perception that cloth diapering is this incredibly time consuming process.  Now, when my mom used to cloth diaper us, 30 years ago in Jamaica, it was definitely time consuming and physically stressful.  She has told me stories about having to wash the diapers by hand, putting them out in the sun to remove stains... and she didn't have a ton so she was doing this almost every day.  And having to do so when she got home from work too.  Well, last time I checked nobody is washing anything by hand anymore, so, if she could do it then, why can't I do it now? 

I know what it's like to come home from work, spend time playing with your child(ren), figure out what's for dinner, sit on the couch to rest your legs for just 5 minutes.  So why would anyone want to add another 10 mins to throw the dipes into the washing machine, and another 10 mins to put them in the dryer when they're done?  What I think it really comes down to is making that conscious decision to choose a healthier alternative to disposables. So, here's an idea... create a schedule, and let the machine run while you're doing other things.  If Tuesday is diaper day, then when you get home, drop those dipeys in the washing machine and then play with your kids.  Put the clean dipes in the dryer, and while it's drying go ahead make dinner.  Let laundry become a background process then it really doesn't interfere with everything else we have planned for our busy evenings. Or, better yet - let your husband do it ;)

If any working moms out there have tips about how they find the time to cloth diaper their little one(s), please share your experiences - leave a comment :)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Product Spotlight – Kushies All-In-One diapers


Update 4/24/11:
Kushies isn't exactly the most popular brand out there. And I've had a bunch of these value packs in stock for some time and they just don't move off the shelves as quickly as their covers do, or the BG Elemental AIOs do.  So, I decided to try out the diapers on my little one.  And you know what, they're really not horrible.  They are pretty light.  The doubler that's stitched in I discovered is a little long, but, I think they make it that way so you can fold it at the free end - up front for boy, in the middle to back for girls, to give extra absorbency where they need it most...which I like.  The diaper itself is very absorbent.  I've been using Baby Kicks One Size Hemp diapers as my go-to night-time diaper, double stuffed with hemp doublers.  Well, one night those were all in the wash, so I decided to use the Kushies AIO, and you know what.  It held up VERY well.  No leaks!  So that was a nice surprise.  The absorbent layer of the diaper does in fact soak up quite a lot.  The velcro tab hasn't given me problems yet.  

What didn't I like about it? Well, there are no leg gussets which I think would make this a better diaper for runny poop.  The waist didn't get as close a fit as you would get with a cover/insert combo... so I can foresee possible leakage there.  But that was it.  This is honestly not a bad diaper.  

In any case, I have discounted it to make some room for new stock, so, it's an even better value for money now.  Coming in at $9.40 per diaper.  That's unheard of for an AIO. Making it an even better option for the budget conscious mom.  

Try them out today... you won't get a better deal elsewhere... and when they're gone, that's it!

Kushies is a Canadian based company that manufactures a whole array of items for baby.  We carry a number of their products because, they’re good, they’re cute and they’re economical . 
What I like about the Ultra-Lite AIOs is that they are very light.  A lot of times diapers tend to be heavy and bulky, but, these are made to be a little lighter, even though they are made with 6 layers of 100% cotton flannel making them able to still absorb a lot of liquid.  Though these AIOs don’t have pockets, they come with a cotton soaker stitched in at one end, which means they’ll wash well and dry quickly.  Also, because the soaker is stitched in that way, one could easily stick a doubler in under the soaker for a heavy wetter or for night time use.  Hook and loop closure (velcro) makes the diaper easy to put on.
Another good thing about these diapers is that they only come in 2 sizes – infants (10 to 22lbs) and toddler (22 to 45lbs).   We’re selling the 5 diaper value pack for $55 for the infant size and $62 for the toddler size, which means these AIOs are $11-$12 a piece! That’s an excellent price for an AIO.  The value pack makes a great investment for first time cloth diaper users and comes in an assortment of fun colors and prints.  
So, let’s summarize the pros and cons for the Kushies Ultra-Lite All-In-One Diaper:
Pros: inexpensive, light, only 2 sizes, cute colors/prints, quick dry, no cover required

Cons: won’t fit a baby under 10lbs; no leg gussets
Looks like the pros out-weigh the cons, so, try them today

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

So many choices, what to do??

My little biz is all about going green.  Our main focus right now is on cloth diapers... and, there are soooo many to choose from so how do we choose which to carry. Well, different diapers appeal to different people for different reasons.  Variety is the spice of life, but I figured I'd try to carry the big names that people know about first, but also the ones I have personally used on my little one.  So I went to the big guns - Fuzzi Bunz & Happy Heinys. I personally used Happy Heinys on my little one and LOVE the Happy Hempies, so I definitely wanted to carry those. But then I also wanted to carry other brands that are just as good, but, you don't hear a whole lot about (or at least so I thought), so I sourced Kushies, Bumkins, OsoCozy, Baby Kicks & Diaperaps (now Sage).  I have had the pleasure of using Kushies diaper cover and OsoCozy, Diaperaps & Baby Kicks fitted diapers.  They are all great for different reasons... and I will review each and every one of them in my upcoming blog posts.

There are soooo many other great geen products for babies outside of diapers, and I want to make those available and spread the good word to everybody who is willing to listen.  So, I found these awesome organic toys made by Dandelion which I am thoroughly thrilled about.  And what about baby skin care? We have some great skin care products from Natures Baby Organics, including certified organic zinc free diaper ointment that is safe for cloth diaper use!

This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend an industry expo with hundreds of infant and child manufacturers and I am VERY excited about the new stuff that I will be bringing to the store in the next week.  Here's a sneak peak: natural baby sunscreen, more organic toys, baby carrier, baby bottles, and more diapers!  So, stay tuned for the full scoop!

I'd love to hear from YOU!  Let me know what you would like to see in the store.  Thanks to your voice we have just added Planet Wise wet & wet/dry bags and pail liners.  So, your vote does count :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A little something about the lady behind Eco Babies

I am currently an engineer with a large construction company here in the
DC metro area, but I hail from the beautiful island of Jamaica.  My cloth
diapering journey all began with a visit to the home of a colleague of
mine a couple of years ago who was pregnant with her first child.  She
told me proudly of how she planned to cloth diaper her child.  I had no
idea people still used cloth diapers.  My mother cloth-diapered both my
brother and I some 30+ years ago, and back then the diapers looked like
handkerchiefs.  I was impressed and intrigued by her zeal and when I
became pregnant in 2009 I decided to do some research into the matter for
myself.   The driving force behind my decision to cloth diaper was two-fold:
the environmental impacts and the cost savings.  "Green" is the buzz word
in my industry and I enjoy learning more about how we can each do our part
for a better environment.  My daughter is now 10 months old and I have
been cloth diapering her since she was about 2 weeks old. I decided to
open up my own natural baby store to share with others the cool healthy
and green products out there. At this time Eco Babies focuses on cloth
diapers, but I also carry natural and organic skin care items, as well as
organic plush toys.  In time, as my business grows, I will be introducing
more exciting green products.